Science Leadership Academy Learn · Create · Lead

Blog Feed

Autism Matters

Hey guys, welcome back to my third and final blog on a heart touching topic, autism! Now if you have not seen blog #1 and #2, feel free to click on the link or read more for the summary. As I had talked about in my previous blogs, I’ve been researching on autism but mostly focusing on kids with autism. It is such a huge problem, not because the children are affected by autism, but how they are not given the attention and help they deserve. Autism is not just a diagnosis or disabilities, it’s someone’s lifestyle, they are overcoming their struggles every single day. Imagine how kids are doing in school, are the teachers giving the extra help they need and are they getting bullied?

As it shows, this topic is very important to me and all the families who are affected by autism. I had cover the topic autism from head to toe, on what it is, who are affected by it, how it’s important to me, and now are you ready to hear about the fun part of this? I figured I needed to do something to help make a change, a change  to help spread autism awareness, and I did! As a way to give back to what I support and a way to end my project.

Before I begin to tell you about what I had done, I want to just talk a little about what I had seen others do or are currently doing to help spread autism awareness and research. There are fundraisers happening, volunteering for a walk, donations, etc. Money raised are going to help researchers research and understand more about autism. With better understanding and research, doctors will have better view on autism itself and on ways to help a child who are diagnosed.

I believe that any type of way, or even the smallest effort to help spread awareness have such huge impact for better understanding and change towards autism. Yes, fundraising, donating, and walking are very helpful and amazing, but remember  being supportive of the cause, knowing it’s real, and being mindful is a way to start a change from the heart.

I had made autism awareness ribbons, but with the help of the idea from my amazing English teacher, Mrs.Dunn, and the help from my mom, sister, and boyfriend. The ribbons were sold during both lunch periods for $1 each. It was fun and had went great, because there were so many supportive peers, from 9th to 12th, buying the ribbons and wearing them to support the cause.

It was so heart touching when I saw them wear the ribbon and was just being as supportive as they all can be. $83.00 was raised from the fundraiser! I felt so happy, no other words to describe my feeling. It was a moment where I had realized I can help make a change, even if I am teenager, and not to forget the help from loved ones. I learn a lot about myself through this journey in making a change. Although this was not my first plan, which was to actually be able to help out kids with autism for a day in a real classroom, I am still very happy. It had made me put myself outside my comfort zone and be out there talking to others.

I felt like I could have done better with the fundraising part, I have to admit, there were some points when I was selling the ribbons where I did not socialize to the people buying it as much as I had wanted to. It was something new for me, and because I am not the most out there type of person. I will learn from this experience and push myself further the next time! This is not over, there are still many things others and I can do to help keep up autism awareness spread, and make it worldly known.

I would like to acknowledge Mrs.Dunn my English teacher for helping me throughout my process with this project. I never felt once that I was alone doing this. Also, my mom and my sister, they had helped me make the autism awareness ribbons, otherwise I would not have anything to sell. Last, but not least, my boyfriend, who was so supportive during my project, from blog #1 to #3 and even helping me sell the ribbons at lunch. Hold on, don't think I forgot, I acknowledge everyone who had read my blogs, who had bought my ribbons, and just supporting me along the way, thank you.

Click here for my annotated bibliography.

The autism awareness ribbon. 
Seniors who had support and bought the autism awareness ribbon. 

YATW #3: Buy American Some More

Hello again, fans of activism. My name is Cameron Samodai and I’m here to talk to you about buying domestic and locally made products. If you are the type who eagerly reads blog posts, you may know that I have posted about this issue twice before. In my first post, I pointed out the disturbing labor conditions occurring in electronics factories, along with the damage you are doing to the economy by buying imported goods. In the second post of the trilogy, I revealed my independent research on the subject. I released a survey to my classmates, many of whom answered the questions I posted.

Since that post, I have put my money where my mouth is and purchased American made goods in place of imported ones. I have three examples of purchases I made to show you.

Imported Shirt

American Shirt

Rather than buy shirts from the above company at $15 each, I decided to support a smaller business and buy shirts from the below company at $19. Not only was I supporting a domestic business, all of their shirts are American made from American cotton.
Imported Switch Plate

American Switch Plate

Both wall plates are made of the same material. Unlike the shirts, the American made switch cover is less expensive than the Chinese one. We bought 5 of these. The difference in cost is enough to choose one American-made shirt over one foreign-made shirt.

Imported iPhone

American Moto X

It may be hard to find the actual prices of these phones (typical cell phone company sneakiness), but if you look on the right you will see that the 16gb iPhone is $550 without rebate and the 16gb Moto X is $400 without rebate. That savings of $150 is enough to cover the difference between 30 of those shirts we looked at before.

While my project did not necessarily involve directly changing others, I utilized my role in the global economy to support what I believe. Think of every purchase as a vote. By buying their products, you are telling those corporate executives that “Yes, I wholly condone your business practices.” If a product is suddenly $0.13 cheaper to make and that causes more people to buy it, the company sees that as an endorsement of whatever unsavory business practices they used to save those 13 cents. Don’t underestimate the power of your money.

I find it very interesting that there is not always a cost penalty for buying American made, and I hope my evidence is convincing enough for you to believe that the pros far outweigh the cons of buying domestic. When you are buying something, make sure to check where it is made. Make sure to recognize that everything matters, and you have a role in the global economy.
Be the first to comment

YATW #3 Women in Engineering

Welcome back to my third and final blog post!  This blog post will focus on my agent of change which was a presentation to my advisory.  In my first blog post from way back when I introduced my You and the World topic, Women in Engineering.  I talked about some possible reasons that there was such a large difference between the men and women in this field among other things.  In my second blog post I used quotes that were said in my original research to see what others thought about the problem.  I also included new research I had found.  For instance, how more girls participate in physics in single sex schools than in co-ed schools.

When we were asked to think about our agent of change projects I didn't know how I wanted to go about it.  Finally, I decided that the best way to help my issue was to make people aware of it.  From doing my original research I saw that there were a lot of facts and people having to do with women in engineering that weren't known.  While making my slide show for the class I included the information that more people in my survey were unaware of, like who Ada Lovelace is and even the percent of women engineers worldwide(13%)  I also included the song, Rosie the Riveter, which explained about the fictional character during WWII.  You can learn more about her in my first blog post.

By doing my agent of change project I brought more awareness to my YATW issue.  I think that that’s the most important thing to happen for women in engineering.  Many people don’t know the number of women engineers worldwide to men.  There are also girls and women who are under the impression that they can’t enter into certain careers because of gender bias.  It’s important, for young girls especially, to not feel as though they don’t have the opportunity to be what they want to be and do what they want to do.

Although I am proud of the presentation I gave to my advisory there is definitely some things that I could have done better.  Being a high school student, I know how boring presentations with just a person standing there talking can be.  The videos I included made me just speaking slightly more interesting but I think that it would have been better if I included a more indepth activity to do with everyone at the end.  When teens and kids can get involved with something it sometimes stays in their minds longer and makes it more interesting.  Hopefully the people who saw my presentation will still remember it and will spread the word about the difference between the number of men and women in engineering.  

I was very nervous when we started this project in the beginning of the year.  I didn't want people to think that my writing was bad and my ideas were boring.  Once I started doing research and learning about women in engineering I was so intrigued that it didn't matter.  The YATW project is all about researching and doing something about an issue you’re interested in, not someone else.  I would like to give a quick shout out to Kayla Cassumba for taking pictures of my presentation, Ms.Dunn for giving me ideas, and anyone who’s read these blog posts.
YATW presentation
Be the first to comment

¿Por que hay tress?

Había una vez una escuela llamada SLA. Era un nuevo tipo de escuela a donde los estudiantes aprendían de una nueva manera. Todos los niños recibían  computadores personales que podrían traer a casa. Era el primer día cuando mudaron todas los sillas al edificio nuevo. Mudaron todo de los pasillos y lo pusieron dentro de los salones de clase. En ese día también empezaban a pintar las paredes de colores diferentes. El día fue muy emocionante para todos. Los maestros estaban alegre por tener un edificio tan bello para su nueva escuela.También está ban alegre de que el edificio de tenía personas ocupando el espacio, fui un largo hacía mucho tiempo de que no habían ocupantantes.

Después de que fueron todos los humanos, las sillas empezaron a hablar juntas. Hablaban de todos los maestros, cuáles fueron sus favoritos y menos favorito, cuáles fueron los más interesantes. También se dieron cuenta de que todos eran muy similares. Todos eran del mismo color, tamaño, no se podía distinguir uno del otro. Esto no les gustó a la silla. Decidieron cambiarse de forma. El problema fue que también no sabían cómo cambiarse. Ellas decidieron que era una buena idea pintar uno y otro. Había pintura en el pasillo que usaban los maestros para pintar las paredes. Todos ayudaban a hacer diferentes diseños y figuras con diferentes estilos y colores. Dejaron que se secara durante el noche y cuando vino la mañana todos despertaron con alegría. Cuando vieron que hacía falta la pintura, no se alegraron tanto.

Todas tuvieron una reacción diferente a la pintura pero todos sí tuvieron una reacción. Unas cambiaban de tamaño, unas de densidad. La más pequeña de todas cambió de patas. Algunas sillas ya se podían mover, todos trabajaron juntos para intentar a arreglar las otras. Cuando volvieron los maestros estaban en choque. No podían creer lo que pasó. Ellos hablaban de qué hacer. Deberían salvar todos las sillas o solo una?. Intentaron sentarse en todas, muchas de las sillas colapsaron cuando se sentó un maestro. Los maestros hablaban y decidieron sólo salvar las sillas que podían usar. Habían tres diferentes tipos de sillas que podrían salvar. Uno con las piernas en forma de un “Z”, otra con las piernas en forma de una “U” y la último con cuatro piernas firmes. Desde ese día había tres diferentes tipos de sillas en la escuela de SLA, todas con las piernas de diferentes formas.

1 Comment

Blog #3: The Syrian Refugee Crisis, A Chapter That Will Not End; Written By: Gabrielle P. Kreidie

Three years ago, a civil war erupted in a nation known to the world as Syria. A pernicious difference between those who run the government under the leadership of President Bashar Al Assad, and twenty two million people who made up the population of Syria, started during the days of the Arab Spring. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia, where in December 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi burnt himself in front of law officers . The Arab Awakening, as it is often referred to, moved on to the rest of the Middle East, Northern Africa and surrounding countries, as it attracting the news of everyone in the world. As the more and more people that got involved with both nonviolent and violent protests against their government in these countries, the less and less anyone focused on the suffering, ordinary people and the new set of millions of refugees were now facing.

Throughout the past seven months I, Gabrielle P. Kreidie a ninth grader at Science Leadership Academy, have researched the ever growing conflicting of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. My first two blogs, Blog #1 and Blog #2 talked about the research I found, in addition to interviews I have conducted, to figure out even more about the refugee crisis than what the media lets on. Refugees are heading to neighboring countries, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, as well as finding asylum in countries such as Bulgaria. There are more than nine million Syrians who have fled their homes from the Syrian Civil War, with over two and a half million registered as refugees in other countries by the United Nations. As the fighting gets worse and worse, the more amount of Syrians who die increases and the amount of hope for liberty and privacy for Syrians decreases exponentially.

photo 1.JPG

The image shown above is the set up for the Syrian Refugee Panel. Mr. Khorchid, a Syrian businessman (far left), Gabrielle P. Kreidie, moderator (left) , Mr. Reaume, a member of the Qatar Foundation (on computer, skyped into the conference), Mr. Kreidie, a professor at Villanova University for Middle Eastern Studies and founder and executive director of the Philadelphia Arab-American Community Development Corporation (right), and Mr. Przbylek (a member of the Nationalities Service Center).

More than two and a half million Syrians refugees, not including the Palestinian refugees who fled to Syria in the 1970’s until the conflict upheld and they lost their homes again, need our help. Not one person would dare place their self in Syria, as of right now, it is certainly dangerous for any man, women and child. Yet, we do not need to put ourselves in complete danger in the case that we want to help our fellow humans who are suffering in the hands of their treacherous leader. You can help them from thousands of miles away, just as I did.

For the final component of this project which I have started promoting since the beginning of the school year, I organized a Syrian Refugee Panel. This panel allowed students from all over my school to understand the issue facing straight in front of us and allow all sorts of educated people on the crises to speak their views. The panel included a professor for Middle Eastern Studies, a Syrian businessman, an employer of the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, and an employer of the Qatar Foundation. The panel was incredibly successful and I was told by my fellow peers that they learnt a lot, which was my goal all along.

photo 2.JPG

Mr. Khorchid talking about the problems his family and other families are facing in Syria. Mr. Reaume focused on the troubles refugee camps were facing.

The easiest way to help the Syrian refugees is, what I did at my school, spread the word on the crisis to all sorts of people. Very few all over the world know exactly what is happening to the Syrian refugees, having the ability to be educated on this topic and then present your knowledge to others is one of the greatest ways to keep this very serious issue in the minds of all. There are many other ways to get involved, you can go to the World Food Program for additional ways that you can help the Syrian refugees, as well as Save the Children and UNICEF. There you can donate money and find fundraising ideas to campaign for the Syrian refugees.

The Syrian refugee crisis is becoming more and more aware in the news force lately, from a very powerful superhero, celebrities. Celebrities, as famous as they are, are able to highlight important issues with millions, if not billions, of people paying attention to all that they do. Harvey Weinstein missed the 2014 Cannes Film Festival release of a movie he distributed, Grace of Monaco, to stay in Jordan and talk to children refugees from Syria about films. Angelina Jolie, an ambassador to the United Nations, has made multiple trips to hosting countries for Syrian refugees, and continued to highlight the issue in the news. Even the popular Pope Francis, on his recent trip to Jordan and the Holy Land thanked the Jordan government for holding half a million Syrian refugees in their country and earlier this year has called for an “urgent end” to the civil war.

photo 4.JPG

Mr. Kreidie focused on the history of the conflict and the international response for the crisis. Mr. Przbylek focused on what we did in our region to help Syrian refugees.

This project has allowed me for the past year to focus on a honestly, important issue. Being Arab- American, I know the struggles my family is facing thousands of miles away, while I live in the United States of America living a pretty relaxed life compared to all of them. I am one of the lucky ones, in terms of not having to deal with civil wars right outside my door. My dream is to work for the United Nations and to give people around the world the greatest amount of help while they are suffering. I hope to open schools in refugee camps and campaign for money for vaccinations for every person in the camps. I have seen, through this project, that I have a tool to change the world in my hand: the internet. Sure, this blog may not be breaking news on CNN, yet as long as one person sees it, the message will be received. Thank you for taking the time on checking this blog and researching the Syrian refugee crisis. The end of the crisis will come, only if we step up and speak aloud.

Thank you to Miss Dunn for everything! You are one of the greatest teachers I have ever had and one of the kindest people I know, and one with great amount of shrewd!

Be the first to comment

Tamatha Lancaster Capstone


For my capstone, a fellow classmate and I decided to do a dance club for the school. At first we were doing it for SLA Center City and then decided that it would be nice to also extend the club to SLAB. First we decided what songs we was going to dance to and then came up with some dance moves. We were going to have our club as an after school activity every Wednesday at Beeber but at the end, it turned out to be one of their mini-courses for the 4th quarter. So then we came up with a lesson plan on what we was going to do with the students and what we wanted them to get out of it. We decided that we were going to teach them a couple of dances and then as their final project, have them come up with a dance on their own. During the process I’ve learned that patience is really important to have because we had to wait until the students and teachers cooperated with us. And that leadership skills were needed for this club because we were working with ninth graders who think they know everything.

There was a website for my Capstone, so click here to view the website.

Annotated Bibliography

Teaching Dance & Running the Club

Modern Dance, Techniques and Teaching.

Shurr, Gertrude, and Rachael Dunaven Yocom. Modern Dance, Techniques And Teaching. New York: Dance Horizons, 1980. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

This book teaches you how to teach people the techniques of dancing. It also gives you a couple of classic moves to enhance just about any choreography sequence. It is important to know how to teach people because it puts your members at ease as well as yourself. If you know how to treat people the whole process goes a lot smoother.

Time Management

Tator, Rosemary, and Alesia Latson. More Time For You : A Powerful System To Organize Your Work And Get Things Done. New York: American Management Association, 2011. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

This will really help us out. With this piece of information we can learn how to manage our time and how to get things done effectively. We can maximize our time and not waste weeks completing a single task.

The Management of Clubs, Recreation, And Sport

Sawyer, Thomas H., and Owen Smith. The Management Of Clubs, Recreation, And Sport : Concepts And Applications. Champaign, Ill: Sagamore Pub, 1999. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

Because we plan on making a club, it is best to know how it works and what it takes to make one. This book teaches you the ways to keep a club going past a few weeks. It also tells you techniques in how to keep club members interested and itching to come back which is really what we need to keep this capstone alive.

Hip Hop Choreography

Jam, Mega. “'23' ft Miley Cyrus choreography by Jasmine Meakin (Mega Jam).” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 1 Dec. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

This youtube video is a dance video of one of the people one of us is subscribe to on youtube. She is a dance instructor and she puts all of the rehearsals she does onto her youtube page along with the tutorials of her dances. We selected this video because it will help come up with some dance moves we can do. It helps to figure out what music is best to dance to. Viewing this video will allow us to see how other people dance and what they think are good dance moves.

“Dance Team- Dance Technique.” Varsity. Varsity Brands, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

This website gives us information about the techniques of dancing, it gives information about different turns foot alignment and tips in improving your dances. This information will allow us to dance the correct way with the right alignment and body position. Knowing this information before we actually start dancing will save many injuries to us and the people who are dancing with us. We could use this information on our website because if people want to copy any of our dances, they first have to know the techniques we used.

Williams, Brenda. “Where Did Dance Come From.” ezine articles. Sparknet, 2014. Web. 28 Jan 2014. <>

This article by Brenda Williams is about dance and where it comes from. She goes to say that no one actually knows how it originated but it’s an important part in ceremonies, rituals, and celebrations. While reading this article I learned that dancing was first seen in Egyptian times, in their wall paintings. This article doesn’t help with how we dance but it does help us to know where it come from. Also it will help us with our website because “knowing” where dance come from can be the introduction to our website.

AdrianVanOyen. “50 Epic Dance Moves.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 25 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

We chose this video because it showed us what not to do as a dance. This is kind of important when it comes to dancing because you want to make sure that you don’t look crazy when you want people to take you as a serious dancer. So doing doing some of these dances in public will not accomplish this. This allows us to get away from the “bad” dancing and towards the better dancing.

Jam, Mega. “‘Where Have You Been’ Rihanna  choreography by Jasmine Meakin.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 7 Aug. 2012. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

This video had some intriguing moves that we would like to learn and then put together with our own dance moves. It helps to learn from other people who are more experienced than us because we can learn so much and enhance our own knowledge of dancing.

Jam, Mega. “‘I’m Out’ Ciara ft. Nicki Minaj choreography by Jasmine Meakin.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 7 Sep. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

This video had some intriguing moves that we would like to learn and then put together with our own dance moves. It helps to learn from other people who are more experienced than us because we can learn so much and enhance our own knowledge of dancing.

Delving Past Hip Hop

GreatAmazingWorld. “Best African Dance Lessons Tutorial Video- Dancing on the Clock.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 4 Jul. 2013. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

This source is especially useful because it delves into more than just hip hop dancing. It is important to look at where dances came from and most hip hop dances have African roots. With that being said we will be looking at the root of dancing so we can fully understand modern dancing. If you know where your stuff comes from it is easier to understand and perform the modern stuff.

fitforafeast. “Salsa Basic Dance Step- learn Latin Dance Lessons for kids.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 1 Nov. 2009. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <>

Having a knowledge of dances from different cultures only enhances our techniques. It gives it a flare and steps outside the box of just hip hop. It’s important to not only understand the dancing you like to do. You have to know about multiple dances because each dance style is influenced by another so it’s best to know multiple to better understand what you’re doing.

Be the first to comment

Session #3

Session #3-Mp3

Group Members Present: Jalen S. Robbie M. Sarybel M. Rose K.

What your book club discussed:

This session we talked about chapters 7,8,9&10

How you discussed it:

We continued to do what we had been doing. We chose to pull out important things from the text. This time we also tried to connect outside examples alongside the ones given in the book. We also talked more about how we felt about the chapters as a whole. 

Any points of conflict/disagreement in discussion:

Again we all were pretty much on the same page about everything that we talked about.

Questions that came up as a result of the discussion:

We really wanted to know if there were more clear ways for us to know if people are lying then what the author said. It seemed that a lot of the times he was talking in a way that a statistician would but not an everyday consumer. We were wondering if there could have been more clear ways for people who don't know statistics to figure out the truth. 

*links to Robbie's articles:

1 Comment

YATW Blog#3: Gay Marriage

This is the 3rd blog of my You And The World Series and I am happy to end it on a positive note. Gay Marriage in Pennsylvania is now legal! Before finding out about this amazing news, I gave a presentation to one of my classes on the issue and what they know about it for my Agent Of Change. I was shocked to find out how much they knew about the topic. Surprisingly, they actually taught me some things too! One student brought up the point that if Pennsylvania were to legalize Gay Marriage, then all of Northeast would be legalized. Another student brought up the question “Why isn't Pennsylvania legalized, besides, isn't Philadelphia the city of brotherly love?’’


Tuesday, January May 20, 2014, Gay Marriage in Pennsylvania is now legalized. This was done because of federal Judge John Jones lll.  He ruled in favor of challenging the states 1996 Defense of Marriage Act after 23 Pennsylvania residents filed a suit with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union. He declared it unconstitutional and did not issue a stay of his own ruling, meaning the law will go into effect immediately.  

Since I currently am residing in Philadelphia, I actually get to talk to people about it. I found a woman who was in a same-sex relationship with her "husband" until she passed away. She brought up the interesting point of what happens when your partner passes away. In an interview with her, she stated “when your “husband” passes away, you don’t get enough time to grieve, you have to think about things like finances and and putting food on the plates of your children.” This was a very interesting view that wasn't brought to my attention. She is happy for the new change even though she is disappointed that this wasn't done earlier.

The day after I found out it was now legal to marry in Pennsylvania, I checked the newspaper, and I was sure to find that it was on the front page. Inside, I found a story about how a woman wasn't expecting to get married that day, but surely enough, it happened. “I just can’t believe it. It’s real. And we’re here,” she said. Seeing these positive changes come about, and being able to be apart of it makes this experience so much better.

But the battle's not over yet. Pennsylvania is the 19th state to legalize Gay Marriage and since we have 50 states in the US, we still have a lot more work to do. We can’t celebrate until we know that anybody anywhere can get married to the person they truly love. For now, we can be happy for the many lives that will be changing from this amazing step into the future.

Click here for my Blog #1

Click here for my Blog #2

Thank you!
Be the first to comment

​ Childhood Obesity: The conclusion and growing awareness

Childhood Obesity: The conclusion and growing awareness

Hello.   My name is Luke Watson-Sharer. Hopefully you read my first 2 blogs about childhood obesity. If you haven’t check them out here: First blog, Second Blog. Childhood obesity is not only a U.S. issue but a worldwide issue.  The obesity crisis expands every day.  Obesity not only affects a child’s physical health but also their emotional well being.  Obese children not only limit their life choices but may also lose self esteem. Obesity can lead to heart disease, suicide, cancer and even death. What can we do to help? We can raise awareness and provide encouragement.   That’s what the agent of change is all about.

There are many ways to raise awareness. I’m glad to contribute to raising awareness.  Others who can raise awareness are companies and community campaigns. Currently,  the NFL is contributing to getting kids more active with NFL60 where they promote 60 minutes of activity of sports or running each day. Also, hospitals and some food companies promote low calorie foods or options. Advertisements by some food companies promote healthy choices like salads to low fat options.  Community groups can create exercise groups to asking schools to provide low calories and healthy options.  Individually, you can create a flyer on childhood obesity or healthy eating to distribute in school. There are many ways to raise awareness about  childhood obesity and support people trying to lose weight.

With many ways to change and create change, there are many possible components.   I support the changes in exercise and eating to support decreasing childhood obesity.  As I wrote in my first blog, childhood obesity leads to negative physical and emotional health.   With my second blog,  it provided results from surveys that helped me thrive and want to make a change. Positive ways to encourage change are through a variety of exercise choices from group sports to walking instead of taking the bus.  There are also ways to increase healthy eating including eating fruit instead of cookies and not overeating.  I support increasing awareness of childhood obesity because it’s  positive for all children and teens.   Decreasing childhood obesity  prevents potential diseases, suicide, the loss of self esteem and encourages a better physical and emotional health.

For my agent of change I helped get the word out by presenting to peers and adults statistics about childhood obesity. My powerpoint is here: Powerpoint. I explained what each blog post was about and showed how childhood obesity works and current statistics.  The surge in childhood obesity has dramatically increased in the last two decades.  I was hoping my message would send a message to my class and would help them encourage friends and family to be more aware and, if they are obese, to get help to become healthier.

IMG_5931.jpg Me presenting my project.

I have made a change happen. Outside of taking in childhood obesity as a problem whenever the topic comes up or in situations I can talk about it, I drop knowledge on the topic. I felt comfortable doing the project and without personally becoming attached to the project because I am not overweight.  Therefore,  I could keep a distance from the topic while also having friends and family who need support in losing weight. After completing the project, I learned more what it is  like to be in their shoes and gained compassion.  It is difficult to change eating habits, exercise habits and lose weight.   I now have a passion for fighting childhood obesity by increasing everyone’s knowledge and supporting friends trying to lose weight.  Next, I can go to a  park and start a weekly football game or a basketball game. I can organize a play group with kids on my block or at church to get them moving.  This can  help kids burn calories that are not needed. Nevertheless, there is a lot to do.  I will continue to look for ways to support the fight against childhood obesity.

My adventure in helping increase awareness of childhood obesity has just begun. Raising awareness and causing a change is the most beneficial thing to do.   I’m glad that I know I made a change and helped spread the word and support others who either need to lose weight or want to encourage others to get healthy.

I hope the millions of people I've touched have the optimism and desire to share their goals and hard work and persevere with a positive attitude.” - Michael Jordan

Bibliography: Annotated

Be the first to comment

My Third Bullying Blog

  Hi, my name is Ali. I am doing a project for English called you and the world. It is a project where we find a topic we are passionate about, and I chose to do bullying.  The reason I did is because it is causing suicide. So I made two blogs (Blog 1 and Blog 2). The first on was about the statistics of bullying and suicude, and how it will grow if we don’t stop it. On the second blog, I explained the effects of bullying and suicide, and talked about why some of these bullies are killers. i just did something called the agent of change. For my agent of change project, I did a presentation to my advisory about bullying. I talked about how it was the cause of some of the U.S suicides.

  The amount of suicide bullying caused is beyond ridiculous, and I wanted to let people know about it. I do have ways this can be changed. I feel good about doing this presentation because I did show my advisory the effects of bullying. One way I did that was that I showed my advisory a CNN story about a girl that commited suicide because people not only spread innappropriate photos of her, but they called her nasty names and cyberbullied her. People got emotional after seeing that. We, as an advisory, discussed the effects of bullying and suicide. When I presented, I did stutter a lot. I also chose a video before completing. The result was excellent, but it could have been bad. Also, I wish I practiced before I presented. Those are things I would change. But I did cause some change because I opened people to the facts about bullying, and discussed that with my advsiory. That put the topic back in everyone’s head. Not only that, I shared a young victim’s story. That hit the advisory hars, as they were sad too see that. So, that is how I made change

photo 2.JPGphoto 1.JPG

    These pictures are of me doing my presentation about bullying and it’s effects. During this presentation, I asked the students for their answers for the questions. I liked all of the answers that I got from the students. In these photos, I am either speaking or taking answers to the questions I am presenting. I wanted to get the group’s answers to questions such as “Why is suicide important?”, and then give my reason.

     The thing left for us, as a nation, is ending bullying for good. It still exists, and I need to do all I can to make bullying extinct. No kid should go through this, and no person should feel suicide is needed in order to escape the pain caused by bullying. It is ridiculous that such a thing is even happening. So far, Cartoon Network has a special called “Stop Bullying”, which encourages anti-bullying to the youth. Also, WWE has a partnership with Be A Star, which is an organization that encourages and promotes anti bullying. And because of it’s partnership with WWE, this message is presented to millions of people, many whom are children. Even better, the wrestlers themselves are speaking against it constantly. I love the things being done. Sending anti-bullying messages to millions of kids is very important. Kids need to know that verbal and physical harm is unacceptable, especially since it is literally murdering today’s youth. Not only that, there are thousands of websites going against bullying.

      I do want to thank Ms. Dunn for giving the class the oppurtunity to make these projects. If it weren’t for that, this project would not even exist. I also want to thank my advisory and the other students that joined that day. They were very polite as I left them a reminder that bullying is awful and sending kids to the graveyard. I also must thank my mom. She was a huge help during the process of this project’s creation. There is still bullying. But luckily, this nation is doing it’s best to stop it. And that is an amazing thing.



Be the first to comment

YATW Blog Post#3

Hello again, My name is Brandon Jones and I am writing for a third time on African American students and standardized test scores. Since my last 2 blog posts, here and here, I have relentlessly be following this impending issue. I have been looking for what can or is being done about the Black and White Test Score Gap and I feel as though my efforts have been prosperous. According to this website, closing the test score gap would do more to promote racial equality more than any other tactic the United States has ever used. Also by eliminating the gap, there would be an increase in black college graduation rates, thus making them equal to white rates. Absence of the gap would also discourage colleges from using racial preference as a means of admittance along with racial disparities in both men’s and women’s earnings.

Closing the gap would require the endeavors of both blacks and whites. Sadly however, it is estimated that this would take more than one generation to accomplish. I agree wholeheartedly that we as Americans can achieve this goal. Though I disagree with the problem taking a whole generation to fix. If we actually try and work hard, I am optimistic that the elimination of the gap can be seen in the near future.

For the Agent of Change aspect of my project, I wanted to raise awareness around my school. Me and another student created a series of posters that had information such as graphs and positive messages to grab the attention of all of the school and faculty passing by. I thought this was a great way to inform people of my issue. Though being subtle, they can have a very powerful impact. Creating these posters informed me that in 2004, it has been proven that black males have been the least likely to earn a regular diploma.

Although I created the posters, I feel I could have done more. I believe that I could have taken action myself and helped out children who were struggling in any subject by tutoring and giving advice in any subject. Even though I didn’t get to it, I planned on reading to a group of younger kids at my local library. I wanted to do this so I could get kids reading at a young age so that it would be easier for them to succeed on standardized tests and in life. What we as Americans can do, is to get all of our children to develop a craving for knowledge so that doing well in school is a desire instead of a struggle.

Closing the test score gap goes much deeper than a competition between races. Closing the gap will unite all of us as a whole and destroy any boundaries between skin colors that our ancestors have so desperately put up. What we are doing now is doing nothing but setting a bad example for future generations. We need to change and we need to act.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank my parents and Ms.Dunn for giving me guidance on writing this blog post. I’d also like to thank my friend and classmate Damir Hunley for helping me designing and putting up our posters. As the late Mahatma Gandhi said, “ You must be the change You wish to see in the world.


image (1).jpeg

* Student looking at the poster

image (2).jpeg

* One of the posters on the wall in the hallways
Be the first to comment

YATW Blog Post 3: The End To My Trilogy

Hi.  I am Aaron Watson-Sharer and  I attend Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia,PA. I am writing about what I have learned and done to support the fight against head injuries. You can see my first blog post and my second blog post now! In my first  blog post I wrote about my research.  I found facts and statistics on head injuries and good tips on how to stay safe. I warned people of the real life damage head injuries can cause. I expressed my feelings for the victims who still live with side effects of head injuries. For my second blog post, I wrote about my findings from research; for example,  today NFL helmets are roughly 20% effective towards injuries rather than 100%. I also conducted original research that I used for my second blog post. I wrote about today’s efforts to  prevent head injuries.

During my research, I have found many things that had been done and more importantly what is being done in order to prevent head injuries. Today there have been improvements in awareness and equipment.  Recently  a fundraiser at the White House raised $86 million dollars to  treat and prevent concussions. There is also new equipment.  There are kevlar in helmets to prevent head injuries. Kevlar is commonly used in bulletproof vests. For example, they used kevlar in the helmet of James Harrison in 2012. He said it helped him feel better during and after games.

Previously, the problem was people never batted an eye at a problem.   This is probably human nature; we are not aware of a problem until something happens. This is  the issue with concussions. We don’t care until another victim comes along and then we become more cautious.  Before  people are aware of injuries, they have the mindset “I won’t get hurt”.   Nevertheless, people  must act earlier rather than later to prevent serious injury. All that has been done to prevent concussions will be for nothing if we just wait for the next victim then bring out the heavy artillery to prevent these injuries. Today’s research must be applied to everyone so another  person is not injured or possibly killed.

- In this Image, you see James Harrison, showing off his new helmet, with more lining to protect himself.

Based on my research, I agree with what is being done to prevent head injuries. I’m actually proud of our progress. I have faith that new technology will make a difference. Fundraisers are also important as well as holding organizations responsible. The fund raising can support research  on superior helmets and decrease the cost.   Fundraising should also be used for education to make children and young people aware of the dangers of head injuries.  Together, prevention, education and research can save lives.

For my agent of change duty, I made a prezi to present for my advisory. I presented causes and effect and much more. I spoke about  today’s efforts to prevent head injuries. Then, students made comments and asked questions and I responded. It was a fun process. I’m working on my teaching skills and research skills. I really enjoyed what I did even though it was my back up plan. Original I wanted to do a documentary but I need more experience with the software.  Either way, I hope I helped other students in being more cautious and careful before something bad happens.

CAM00094 (1).jpg


I think I’ve made change perhaps for others but mainly myself. This  change is huge. I am an athlete.  Now I focus on how to stay safe. It’s a factor in my playing attitude. In the long run, I not only helped myself but hope I informed and helped others. While I learned important information,  I hated worrying about it all school year long. It was not very difficult if you kept organized and cared about your topic.   I was reminded that one hour of hard work pays off rather than five hours of mediocre work. I also believe this is one of my best projects for my freshman year.

I could have done plenty things better like teaching better than I did. I could have spent more time preparing for my agent of change. I would like to continue pursuing head injuries as a topic of interest. I want to follow up on current changes in both improving equipment and educating kids about head injuries.  Hopefully, more companies will conduct research and the government will require  the public to be  informed about develop of treatment for  head injuries and technology that prevents injuries. As an athlete and teen, I am ready to learn more and help prevent head injuries.

Also “We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves” - The Notorious B.I.G.


- Ms. Dunn for aiding me throughout this project.

- Ms. Siswick for making time for me to present my agent of change work.

- Others

Be the first to comment

YATW 3: Change

¡Hola! Are you at least partially ready to embark on the psychedelic journey that is my You and the World Blog Post #3? I know that I am at least partially ready to embark on the psychedelic journey that is my You and the World Blog Post #3! You’ve heard me here, researching online and discussing green energy and the necessity for it; you’ve heard me here, introducing original data revealing portion of the population’s view regarding green energy. This blog post will regard my “Agent of Change/Action Piece,” and will involve me jumping on a solar-roadway powered bandwagon. Welcome to the final blog. Welcome to the  Post of Change!

The Action Piece was a simple assignment: do something to support your issue. In my case, the Piece found itself being a presentation to my advisory. If you wouldn’t like to click that link because you’re lazy and because you have very little motivation, that’s ok, as I can easily describe it: it references this infographic with information relating to the economic aspect of installing solar panels from 2011 and it mentions that panels have gone down in price by 60% since then. I had a great time in advisory, and I’m hopeful that I successfully brainwashed them into supporting my agenda!

A picture of me presenting to my advisory. They are clearly enthralled.

In researching for that presentation, solar roadways were easily the most important thing I found. They are hexagonal plates with photovoltaic cells, pressure sensors, heating systems, and light emitting diodes in them to replace roadways. They take the pressure off of the individual for installation of panels, and instead relate to the community as a whole. They not only capture light energy, they also remove and filter snow and ice, warn about when vehicles/pedestrians/animals are are coming. 

Electric cars could be charged with them, therefore eliminating the need for gas-burning cars. Houses could be charged with them, therefore eliminating the need for natural gas/coal burning energy plants. The future is now, and only you can prevent wildfires.

In this instance, of course, “wildfires” means global warming and the running out of fossil fuels. And it is very preventable. Invest in solar energy! If you don’t have money, pester someone who does into solar energy! Support solar roadways! If you can’t afford that, pester others until they do! The world can be saved, if only we were to actually put in the energy to do so.

¿Dondé fue el tiempo? por Peter Ricker

Erase una vez, en el año pasado, la escuela SLA teníamos relojes en cada clase. Este verano había una tormenta en Filadelfia y la electricidad en la escuela se apagó. Todo los relojes se rompieron a excepción del reloj en la clase de Manuel.

Este reloj era especial, casi mágico. Era el único reloj que continuaba trabajando después de la tormenta. Esto era porque tiene baterías, no cables. Fue un reloj cucú. También, el reloj estaba enamorado. Había una fantasma que ocupar el cuarto piso.

Previamente, el cuarto piso fue un parte de la escuela cuando la clase primera graduaba, pero tragedia golpeó. Una chica en la clase murio y su novio dedicado el cuarto piso a ella. Hoy, la fantasma de ella vuela en el colegio, buscando amor.

El dia que los relojes se rompieron, la fantasma empezó a buscar en serio. Porque era el verano, no había nadie en la escuela. El único sonido fue los ratones corriendo por los rincones y el “gong” del reloj único. De repente, trueno y relámpago feroces sacudieron la escuela y los relojes se cayeron de las paredes y chocaron al suelo. El reloj especial dio un gemido y la fantasma encontró el reloj en el suelo. Sintió lástima, el fantasma recogió el reloj del suelo y lo cuidó la salud.

El reloj despertó el día siguiente y se encontró colgado en la pared.

“¡Hola!”, dije un voz bajo. El reloj miró alrededor el cuarto pero no ver la persona.

La chica entró el cuarto. El reloj se enamora de la chica al instante. Todos los días, la fantasma visitó el reloj y los dos hicieron muy amigos. La fantasma le gusta el reloj porque tenia un sonido. Cada hora, el reloj tocó su sonido y cuenta las horas. Por eso la fantasma estaba encantada con el reloj. El dia antes del inicio del año escolar, el reloj hecho la pregunta. “Quieres salir conmigo?”, preguntó el reloj. La chica se sorprendió y dijo si. La pareja nueva fue muy feliz hasta Señorita Manuel regresó a la escuela. Todos los maestros regresaron y compraron relojes nuevos para sus cuartos.

Este dia fue el último día por el reloj. Manuel quitó el reloj de la pared y lo tiró en la basura afuera. La fantasma decidido salvar su amor y trajo al cuarto piso. Ella colgó el reloj en la pared, allí los dos mantienen sus amor eterno.

1 Comment

Teige Dougherty's Capstone

Teige Dougherty

Joshua Newman, Outside school mentor

For my senior capstone I have been steadily training musician’s in several different genres and styles so that they can put on a performance. For the most part the musician’s have been very experienced and many already have several years of music in training. The concert was comprised of two guitars and a cello.


1) .Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <>.This citation provides information about the place where we will be playing. It helps to know that the hospital that we are playing at. The hospital itself was founded in 1855. It is currently heralded as the best children’s hospital in the country. It wins hundreds of awards every year. 

2) . Musician's On-Call. Web. 29 Jan 2014. <>. This source is about a group that already does what I am trying to do. They connect musicians with hospitals. They believe that music can help raise anyone’s sports and help them have the will to continue fighting through their condition. The organization has been functioning since 1999. This is almost 15 years of service to this noble goal. 

3) Wigram, Tony, Inge Nygaard Pedersen, and Lars Ole Bonde. A Comprehensive Guide To Music Therapy : Theory, Clinical Practice, Research, And Training. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Jan. 2014.     ThThis source was helpful for several reasons. It helped me to comprehend the different effects on people through music. These effects can vary from lowering blood pressure, to increased drive. Both of these things can be  instrumental in helping a sick person get better. Most cancer studies say that an increased drive is one of the most important 

4) Pavlicevic, Mercedes. Groups In Music : Strategies From Music Therapy. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 29 Jan. 2014.This source is all about how the key to music therapy is that the group as to find an equilibrium between the music and the listener. It is all about how if the group is out of sync the music will not influence the patient correctly and if there is dissonance involved it can actually cause trouble within the patient themselves. 

5)Innes, Anthea, and Karen Hatfield. Healing Arts Therapies And Person-Centered Dementia Care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Jan. 2014.This link refers to the use of music to treat dementia, in elderly patients. Apparently music stimulates certain parts of the brain that help fight dementia. "Music therapyallowed Mrs. M to feel included and form a bond with the therapist, even if only for a few moments. It allowed her to utilize her voice, thereby reinforcing her awareness of herself.” This is talking about a woman who was in desperate need of help. Then someone taught her to sing for herself, and it enabled her to be more aware of her surrounding. 

6) "Redefining How to Learn Music." Jellynote. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.This is the main source that I have used for collecting the pieces of music. Most of the different pieces are ensembles of different instruments. These include, House of the rising sun, Game of thrones theme song, Sherlock theme song, Let’s dance to Joy Division, We are going tone friends, and Seven nation army. There are many more that this website has provided sheet music for. This is written in a way that I can read, in treble and bass clef. 

7)"Music as a Healing Bridge: Stuart Fuchs at TEDxBuffalo." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.
One thing that his source brings, is information on how to create  safe space for music to help people the most. The kind of energy that is needed to bring happiness to the patients. It also has to do a lot with the helpful aspects of music to the spirit of someone who is experiencing tragedy. The many guy who is talking is giving a TED talk all about meditation in music. This is helpful specifically for helping someone meditate through music. That is essentially what we are trying to do, while simultaneously providing entertainment and distraction.

8)"Music Therapy: Music Can Help Cancer Patients." YouTube. YouTube, 12 June 2009. Web. 30 Jan. 2014.This is a video about the many uses of music therapy. It shows that it was used to help people who have cancer and it shows that it works. It was also talking about a young child who was having severe trouble with asthma, and had trouble relaxing, but once he started music therapy he was able to calm down and take a deep breathe. This essentially saved his life, because it enabled him to continue breathing on his own.

9) "American Music Therapy Association." What Is Music Therapy. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.This is an organization that does this type of music therapy. They believe that it is a revolutionary practice and this source helps me understand specific things about how it helps people and where it creates an atmosphere that could help a sick person heal. "Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

10) HealthDay, WebMD News from. "Music Therapy May Help Teens With Cancer Cope – WebMD." WebMD. WebMD, 01 Mar. 0000. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.This is an article from WebMD, which is a reputable source for health information. This means that what they are saying is probably true. This article talks about how cancer patients benefit from music. This many be for several reasons. One reason is that it may help them coupe with their situation. Another reason why this might be helpful is for company. A lot of these patients don’t see people unless they are for tests and things like that. 

Below is a picture of the event itself. It was held in Rittenhouse square. *Note this photo was taken by the organization Humans of Philadelphia.
Here is a recording of one piece of music that was improved.
Be the first to comment

Sarybel Meléndez - Capstone

For this project, I decided to do something related to what I love doing the most... makeup. I have always loved anything that’s beauty-related, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my knowledge about makeup with other girls from SLA. 

I created a blog where I wrote several posts about the basics of beauty and makeup. I figured this would be a good idea since not a lot of people know how to apply makeup, or how to choose the right kind of makeup. On this blog, I share my knowledge about makeup and also share beauty tips that will help girls know more about these topics. I also did different girls’ makeup. I used ninth graders as models and did different looks on them. 

This was an incredibly fun experience. I love writing about beauty and makeup, so it was really fun to write and share what I know with everyone else. I also enjoyed meeting new girls from the ninth-grade, doing their makeup, and connecting with them. 

Link to my blog

Link to my Bibliography 

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 3.29.47 PM
Be the first to comment

YATW Blog #3: Sex Trafficking in India

photo 3 (2)

Hello readers and welcome back to my blog! Back in my blog post #1, I spoke about what sex trafficking was and how it was affected the Southern Asia region. Organizations were listed that support victims of sex trafficking. In blog post #2 original research was conducted via email with the help of Free the Slaves organization. In addition a news story on CNN connected sex trafficking to the U.S. Today  the project will be finalize by explaining my “Agent of Change” and reflecting on information gained through this process.

In my prior research I have been in contact with various organizations that support victims of sex trafficking in providing them homes and shelters along with counseling. It is noticeable that when money is donated to these organizations they use it to enhance their campaign in order to educate others about sex trafficking. The actions that have been taking place are exactly what needs to be done to inform the inhabitants of this earth of the misfortunes that exist in this world. For my “Agent of Change” I created a slideshow presentation to present my advisory about sex trafficking in India.

To make change happen I took part in enlightening the minds of my peers on the horrors of sex trafficking, especially in the country of India. After completing this project I feel satisfied as an adolescent that has not only informed herself but others on a topic that not many are addressed about.

Although I am proud of the work that that has been produced It was possible I could have added to my “Agent of Change” or even done better . For my Agent of Change awareness could have brought  to a larger audience through a fundraiser. The money would have gone to an organization that I have been in contact with in order to thank them for information that they have provided for me for my previous blogs. However this can still be fulfilled because change still needs to occur in the world and I can personally promote change on the issue of sex trafficking.

I would like to begin with acknowledging and thanking Ms. Dunn for presenting us with the You and the World project allowing us to get involved with real world issues that we are interested in. I would also like to give thanks to Free the Slaves organization for providing me with key information in order to speak on this issue with more insight. As well as Ross Kemp for creating an insightful documentary entitled “Extreme World Series 3 1 of 6 India”  that granted me a new perspective on the struggles of the women in India.  In addition I would like to thank my advisor Mr.Reddy for allowing me to present to my advisory and my own advisory for being attentive while I was presenting and participating when I asked questions. This project has made me realize that change needs to happen and I hope that one day it will take place.

photo 3 (3)
photo 5 (1)
Be the first to comment

YATW Blog #3: What Lies Ahead

Well, hello again. It’s me, Quinn Grzywinski, back for my English project YATW: a journey that began over 5 months ago, when we chose a subject of importance to us, and were to write three blog posts about it to raise awareness. For those not in the know and who haven’t read my previous blog posts, I recommend for you to check those now. My first blog: “Arbitrary Future” detailed the current situation of overpopulation and what it could mean for the possible future, along with statistics and predictions of the coming decades. My second blog: “Why I’m Wrong” focused around survey I sent to get data on how aware people were of overpopulation, and how much they considered it a problem. In spirit of the name, that blog mostly told of how unexpected my results from that blog were, and that people do know of overpopulation, so I consider that survey a failure seeing that it really didn’t pick up how much people knew about it. But it’s time to put those two behind us now, as I turn my weary opinion on overpopulation to here: my third and final blog. I’ll be talking about my Agent of Change project, a little about how the world seems to be taking notice, and making a final statement about, for humanity, what lies ahead.

Let’s begin talking about how overpopulation is being taken from various people and places around the world. And with any study of various options, it depends on who you talk to and who you listen to. If you listen to to Alexandra Paul: an environmental activist, the solution is simple.  

According to her TED talk, she’s been interested in overpopulation since a young age, and for her, all you need is to educate woman, something that appears to be running trend for when I try to answer for myself how this issue can be dealt with. Something so simple, so simple perhaps it’s overlooked; that’s a mindset that needs to change. 

You needn't even listen to Reuters: a global photography website, for they show you 14 haunting pictures of the overcrowded world, perhaps hoping that the seeing the issue face to face will have a greater effect. Personally, I urge to check out these pictures, they’re truly eye-opening and may really make you realize what overpopulation looks like. I don’t pretend to be an expert on overpopulation, it’s just something I became interested in, but I’d like to make a presumption on how overpopulation is taken by the public. If I may draw a slight parallel to global warming(though I think overpopulation is less widely considered); the problem isn’t that some people aren’t talking about it, it’s that we the media don’t listen to it. Why? Maybe because it’s scary. Scary to think that less than a century from now we could be caught up in a resource war, run out of wheat and bread, and have a planet of shouldering over 10 billion people. I don’t mean to be prophet of doom, but as I said in my first blog, it won’t be a gradual thing, it’ll be more like falling off a cliff. We need to just turn and face this issue, even though it might be frightening to talk or even think about, because no matter how much we deny it, it’s not going away. It’s getting nearer, and alarmingly fast too.

For my Agent of Change project, I wanted something a little more personal something that would get people actually interested in the issue. I couldn't have fundraised even if I wanted to, since I wasn't exactly sure which organization I would benefit, and even if the money I raised would actually be spent helping stop overpopulation. I didn't have anywhere in particular I could volunteer either, so the answer was to grab people’s attention and leave it to them how much they wanted to find out about this issue. I just needed to make sure the message was compelling enough.

The images you see above and below that I've posted onto this blog are snapshots of the posters I made for my Agent of Change project. The posters are hand-drawn, using images taken from the internet, with my own tagline to go with each of them, along with a list of links to check out. I made sure that the images I chose were either uncomforting or surreal enough to grab passer by's attention, and it took a lot more work than you would first think. Why posters? I just like the idea of instead of someone donating to a nameless charity and forgetting about it the next day, they would see these attention-grabbing posters, day after day, until they finally considered the message they were trying to convey.

I like to think that through both my survey that  was done for blog #2 and these posters that I have created, a small faction of people are more aware of overpopulation. I explained thoroughly in blog #2 how my survey was a failure; which also leads back to the presumption I stated above. I may have made people be reminded that overpopulation was, you know, a “thing”, but that was it, and it would soon leave their minds without the grim facts to keep them focused on it. So all in all, even as I made these posters, I felt like whatever I did, it simply wouldn't make an impact, and be in the end, purposeless. Maybe I shouldn't be over-thinking this, but even these blogs I doubt will make an impact on anything. I guess I really can’t get out of this somewhat depressing mindset, fortifying my final opinion on this project.

So what would have kept people wary of overpopulation for my Agent of Change? I don’t know. I wanted posters, something personal and attentive, but if I were to do this project over, I would want something with a bit more impact. Yes, seeing the posters day after day may have attracted a few curious peers, but seeing the short amount of time they were actually up on the wall, I doubt it. A redo would put the “Rueter theory” into effect, remember those photo guys which I mentioned? They showed without telling, letting the reality of overpopulation sink in through just a few photos. Surrealism is good, but I feel like using real life photos of the problem may have been better, and also, a longer duration of how long the posters were on the wall would have helped too.

Now I feel kind of bad. I’ve let this final blog post turn into some sort of grim rant on how nobody takes this issue seriously, the reality that the world will be extremely different in the next 60-80 years, and my own uncertainty on the impact of this YATW as a whole. Sort of a downer of a finale.

But maybe that’s for the best. I don’t want to act like this whole thing is no big deal. I don’t want to sugarcoat the facts, to leave readers with a “yeah, everything’s fine” attitude. Because it isn’t fine. These are the facts. I’m not going to hold back as I say this. Overpopulation is currently one of the greatest threats to mankind, and needs to be dealt with immediately. Not leave it to the next generation. Not wait 50 years. Now. This isn't going away. This isn't some distant horizon to look upon. The future, our future, is in our hands, and if we all act like it doesn't exist, it will tear our society and our planet apart.

So please, tell your friends. Tell your friend’s friends. Tell your grandparents. Tell your crazy uncle, your 7-yr old niece, your gym instructor. I can’t promise anything. I can’t say everything will be OK. I can’t decide for you what you will do about it. All I can do is leave you with some words of warning and a choice about how you’ll take them.

This next decision is yours.


Be the first to comment

Pete & Los Escaleras de Afuera

Erase una vez un niño llamado Pete. Él eran uno de los primeros estudiantes de SLA. Pete amo salir a fuero y ser en la naturaleza. Pero no tenía tiempo de ir afuera en escuela secundaria. Extrañaba ir afuera en el aire fresco.

Un dia decidido ir al oficina y hablar con Principal Lehmann. Pero Pete nunca fui al oficina antes. Era muy asustado, pero sabía que necesitaba hablar con Lehmann. Finalmente se levanta su nervio y entró el officina de su principal. Cuando entró la oficina, vio que no era tan malo, como él pensó. Pete explicó a Senior Lehmann que el quería tener tiempo afuera cada dia. Lehmann dijo que quería dar Pete lo que quería, pero no era posible.

Pete era muy triste y enojado. Necesitaba ser solo. Corrí a un armario vacío en el fondo de la escuela. Era tan enojado que empezó pegar el pared del armario. Pego tan fuerte que el pared empezó a derrumbar. En el otro lado del parede no era nada, solo aire fresco. Pete empezó a formar un plan para tener tiempo afuera durante su día en escuela. Decidió derrumbar una pared de abajo en los armarios en todos los pisos. Después iba a construir escaleras que son afuera del escuela y cuando caminada a sus clases pudia ser en el aire fresco.

Cada día durante su almuerzo Pete fue al armario y derrumbó parte del pared. Tomó Pete casi todo el año, pero finalmente todos los armarios no tenían un pared de atrás, solo un hoyo que miraba afuero. Pete realizo que no iba a tener tiempo para construir los escalones si quería terminar su proyecto antes del final del año. Decidido que necesitaba visitar el oficina de principal Lehmann otra vez.

El proximo dia Pete fue al oficina y explicó su plan y su dilema. Lehmann ear enojado, pero admitió que era impresionado en todo el trabajo duro que Pete hizo. Lehmann permito que durante el verano el iba contratar trabajadores de la construcción para hacer escaleras afueras.

Cuando la escuela empezó el próximo año todos los estudiantes amaban a los escaleras nuevas. Nadie sabía que era Pete quién trabajo tanto para tener los escaleras de afueras. Pero esto no importaba a Pete, la única cosa que siempre quiso tener era unos minutos afuera en la aire fresco.

1 Comment